Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Sault Ste. Marie, ON, Canada
I don't think that the R's fairing is wide enough to really block much wind. If it's cold out you'll be cold no matter what unless you're wearing warm gear. Solve that problem with proper riding gear instead. Or search for a touring bike that is designed for that purpose (personally, I think I would be happier with a touring bike now given my geographic location, but that's because most of the roads that I can ride on are boring, and a lot of the local riding is on the highway where this bike's limitations wear on you faster).
Personally, I also think that the F looks better. At least, for the 2013-2015 models. The 2016+ improved the R's appearance quite a bit, but the F is still sexy so kept up at least. In terms of maintenance, I don't know how much more convenient the F is, but I know it's a real PITA to remove the R's fairings to access various things, and these days I'd appreciate easier access much more over the relatively modest looks of the 2013 R's fairing, and the little bit of protection it offers on the road.
If you're deciding between R and F I suggest going with the F. When people see the full fairing they typically think you're on a 600 crotch rocket, and it's a little demoralizing having to explain that it's not. I don't know if the F suffers from that too (it looks fast as **** anyway), but I imagine it's not as bad because people are less familiar with the naked sport look and probably make fewer assumptions. The windscreen is basically the same on both models. You get a ton of turbulence at highway speeds with the stock setup. You get used to it, but it is exhausting.
Also, in my opinion, the clip-ons on the R don't really work right with the riding position. From day one I found I was caught somewhere between comfort and sport. It's an awkward position to be in. I don't know if the F is better for that, but I assume it is. The R is really exhausting to ride, at least for me.
If I had the money I'd replace her with a Gold Wing tomorrow! So that's where I'm coming from. The R is still a lovely little bike, but I think you can get a lot more bike for a little bit more money, and it depends on your riding history whether the R will suffice. I can't remember what you want to change about the R3, but I don't think the solution truly lies in a 500. If you do a lot of highway riding then I think you'll be happier with a touring style bike. Or maybe a cruiser. I'm not sure that the 500 does anything better than the R3 other than being slightly heavier which may give you more confidence, but will probably cost agility and braking distance in return. I'm not sure if the R3 is thick between the thighs (Ninja 250's look like they are wider than the 500), but after riding a larger bike like the 650 the 500 feels like a toy, and I'm not fond of that feeling at this point in my riding career.
I mean the best with what I say. It doesn't always sound that way.
2013 Honda CBR500R (Millennium Red) (Completely stock)
FirstGear Kilimanjaro High-Visibility, Joe Rocket Ballistic Boots, Scorpion Exo R2000, Alpinestars Raider Drystar Pants or Scorpion Covert Jeans, Icon Hypersport Pro Short Gloves
Castrol Chainlube, Pro Honda GN4, Pro Honda Dot 4, 87 octane AKI
Kriega R-35, Air Hawk Dual Sport, Go Cruise 2, Grip Puppies
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